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MDC wades into street’s sewage issue

Complaints about ongoing sewage flooding homes on Cockburn St in central Masterton have prompted a response from Masterton District Council [MDC].

As reported by the Times-Age yesterday, Susan Bailey and her father’s Cockburn St yard has regularly been flooded by wastewater, which since last year has included sewage.

Bailey has stage four cancer and is immunocompromised. She and her elderly father, who has dementia, have struggled to deal with their flooded yard and blocked drains for about five years, with human waste flowing into their yard intermittently since February 2022.

MDC acting chief executive David Paris said yesterday that work is underway on the issue.

“Council staff are seeking to meet householders from three properties particularly badly affected by the overflow of wastewater when the network is backed up,” he said.

“Staff will work through options and technical issues with the residents for an interim solution. This information will be valuable in considering options to address
issues in other properties.”

Details of the meeting were not yet available.

Bailey said she had not been contacted about a meeting and noted that more than three households are affected – in fact, she estimated at least a dozen houses in her part of the street are impacted by the wastewater flooding.

“They should be talking to all of us. Attendance at the meeting should be available to everyone, “ she said.

“The last communication I had about this wastewater problem was last year in November.”

Paris said funding has been allocated for remedial plans.

“A total of $2.25 million in Better Off funding provided as part of the Three Waters Reform, as it was then called, has been allocated to wastewater improvements across Masterton.”

Bailey was unsure how the funding will be allocated to the Cockburn St neighbourhood, and what specific work will be done to remedy their flooding.

“How much of the $2.25m will be coming to fix our problems?” she asked.

Paris said the improvements would include addressing leaks that result in stormwater entering the system, leading to overflows.

“This work will take place over the next three years,” he said.

“Where intermittent wastewater drainage issues are caused by heavy rain events, portaloos are available to affected properties when required. Work is also carried out to clean and disinfect properties after overflows have occurred.”

One new subdivision in the area affected by the flooding had been consented to by MDC, with a condition limiting the number of houses that can be built before work has been carried out to ensure the wastewater system has the capacity to cope.

A larger diameter wastewater pipe will be installed by the developer on the site, along with infrastructure to manage stormwater.

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